I received a troubling email over the weekend – some of you may have received this email from a new VA and therefore I wanted to set the record straight:
SVA is funded via donations which pays for hosting, admin, research, SEO, and web development. The donation is voluntary and over the years we have added many, many members for free, as well as receiving generous support from many VAs. We do not (nor have we ever) charged for VA listings on the website. There are several reasons for this:
- Firstly because any directory charging for listings would not have the impartiality needed to remove VAs who are not delivering on their promises.
- Secondly because the listings we have are not as good as I would like them to be – this is something we are working on in the background, and something I would love to be able to fix permanently by investing more money in. However, I just don’t have the money or technical skill to do it alone.
- Thirdly because SVA was founded by VAs coming together and helping one another, and that is the ethos I would like to prevail – if you are only joining to get a web listing, there are 100 other sites offering that (who don’t of course have the same SEO authority as SVA has due to its varied content and longstanding status). Joining just for the listing dilutes the collective power of the VAs and is not something I ever wanted to encourage.
I find the VA industry is one of the most welcoming and open I’ve ever encountered – it makes it a special place to work (even if I don’t get to see you in person very often!). It would be a shame to lose that ethos, I hope it won’t come to that.
Carmen Macdougall retires from VACT
Last week Carmen shared the sad news that she will be taking a step back from the VA industry and retiring from the VA Coaching and Training Company… For those who don’t know, Carmen was the very first person to set up VA training in the UK, remaining a pioneer by establishing the first industry awards and the first VA conference.
VACT will continue under their existing trainers (Michelle, Amanda and Rebecca) and Carmen’s extensive knowledge will still be available via her various training products but I’ll miss her warmth and vision being ever-present in the industry. We wish her well!
Just to keep you in the loop – our forum is in the process of being revamped and you will all receive details of how to log into the new forum shortly… The existing forum is in a very dated condition and we know there are lots of glitches that make it tricky for us to eradicate spam and increase interaction amongst members. We want to make things better!
What have we been up to this month?
The Home Office – What works, what to look for, how to squeeze into a small space… George Clarke, you have nothing on me!
Non-salesy sales – Top tips for being self-employed and doing sales without being smarmy!
How not to get work as a VA – Top tips for approaching other VAs to get information!
From the archives:
Exhibition checklist – everything you need to run a great stall! http://tinyurl.com/njra6hc
Taking legal action to recover costs http://tinyurl.com/q6l4jgm
To niche or not to niche http://tinyurl.com/peft9f7
Protecting your virtual assistant brand http://tinyurl.com/pk4tfh4
We’ve revamped The Virtual Assistant Diary – it’s looking great and I think you can see the events and search far more easily.
If you have an event you would like listed, please let me know on firstname.lastname@example.org! It’s free and we’re happy to list anything which will help VAs in their businesses.
Until 5th Sept: VA Success Group Summer School bundle. Big training bundle discounted to get your business kick started after the kids go back to school!
28 Aug: Marketing for VAs FREE CALL 8pm.
13 Sept: VACT Training Day – Start Your Dream VA Business, Buckinghamshire – places are selling out fast on this one, so you need to book NOW!
25 April: Northern VA Collaboration – Yes, it is ages away but booking has now opened for tickets. They are hosting it in central Newcastle this time, and the hotel has special rates for VAs attending the conference.